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Almond Crescent Cookies

Almond crescent cookies (Italian wedding cookies), more traditionally known as “Vanillekipferl” in Austria and Germany, are a delicious type of nut-based shortbread. Customarily, these cookies are made around Christmas time or for wedding festivities, but our family bakes them year-round! They can also be made with walnuts or hazelnuts for added variety.

Almond crescent cookies were among my grandmother’s favorite things to bake and always found a place on her Viennese Dessert Table when hosting a party. “Viennese Hour” or “Venetian Hour” is a celebratory wedding tradition common in Italian families and involves filling an entire table with various desserts. The more the better!

These cookies are extremely easy to make, and the only tool required is a food processor to ground the nuts. They can also be baked directly from frozen for even more convenience when hosting a large party!


Making Almond Crescent Cookies

For this cookie dough, I prefer using cold, unsalted butter. It blends easily with the other ingredients and the cold temperature keeps the dough stable enough to shape.

These cookies are mixed in three short steps to ensure all ingredients are fully incorporated. First, the butter is creamed with the sugar and ground almonds. The extracts and an egg are added to moisten the mixture, followed by both flours and salt to bind everything together. The dough will be soft but not too sticky and is shaped and chilled in the refrigerator prior to baking.


Equipment needed

  • Food processor – To make ground almonds
  • Stand mixer or hand mixer – Since this recipe involves creaming cold butter, it is best to use a mixer!

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Almond Crescent Cookies


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  • Author: Amy @ The Pastry Blog
  • Total Time: 1 hour 40 minutes
  • Yield: 54 three-inch cookies 1x

Description

To accommodate large family gatherings, this recipe makes a generous batch of 54 three-inch cookies. To make a smaller batch, cut the quantities in half (use only half of an egg after mixing it in a bowl with a fork).

These cookies can be frozen in an airtight container once shaped. To bake from frozen, add an additional 2 minutes to the baking time.


Ingredients

Units Scale
  • 200 g slivered almonds
  • 200 g unbleached, all-purpose flour
  • 210 g almond flour
  • 1/4 tsp fine sea salt
  • 226 g cold, unsalted butter
  • 180 g confectioner’s sugar, plus more for dusting
  • 1 large egg (50 g)
  • 1/4 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp pure almond extract

Instructions

  1. If making the full recipe (54 cookies), line two baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. Using a food processor, finely ground the almonds and set aside.
  3. Place both flours and salt in a medium bowl and set aside.
  4. In the bowl of a stand mixer using a paddle attachment, mix the butter, sugar and ground almonds on medium speed until incorporated.
  5. Add the egg, vanilla extract, and almond extract and mix until incorporated.
  6. Add in the flour mixture all at once and mix until just combined.
  7. Roll a small amount of dough in the palm of your hands and shape into a crescent shape about 3 inches long and place 1-2 inches apart on the prepared baking sheet. If making the full recipe, you can place the crescents close together to chill, then separate onto two sheets and place 1-2 inches apart prior to baking.
  8. Chill the cookies in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour prior to baking. These cookies can also be frozen in an airtight container once shaped. To bake from frozen, add an additional 2 minutes to the baking time.
  9. Prior to baking, preheat the oven to 325°F.
  10. Bake the cookies for 17-20 minutes, or until the bottom and outer edges are golden-brown.
  11. Remove the baking sheet from the oven and onto a wire rack.
  12. While the crescents are still hot, generously dust them with powdered sugar.
  13. Allow the crescents to cool completely, then store in an airtight container.
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Chilling time: 1 hour
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes

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